Mumbai: Over the weekend (Saturday and Sunday), all public sector banks (PSBs) indulged in grass root level discussions. All the regional offices of all PSBs organised meeting of all branch heads in order to review their performance and to deliberate on nine focus areas. The outcome of this deliberation will be sent to state-level offices, then to national level and finally, it will be submitted to finance ministry in September.
The aim of these discussion is to align PSBs with the national priorities. The nine focus area of these deliberations include increasing digital payments; credit for MSME; use of technology in bank; retail lending; agricultural credit; export credit; need to establish financial grid-taking forward PMJDY; enabling bank credit towards a USD 5 trillion economy. The need to implement a future roadmap will also be important to tackle the slowdown in the economy.
State Bank of India (SBI) is the convener of discussion at the national level. Commenting on this large scale discussions conducted by the all the PSUs, Arijit Basu, MD of SBI, said, “Within the banks, some banks may have done it (such deliberations) before. In case of SBI, we have done it periodically. But at national level covering all banks… is a unique exercise.” He added that this exercise was undertaken to follow a bottom-up approach rather than the usually top-down working pattern.
Basu added such deliberations cannot take place often. “… if this initiative yields good results, then we maybe in (for) half yearly or annual level (deliberations). It could be a very good thing to involve people at grass-level.” Basu revealed at present no private sector or the RBI is directly involved in this exercise. “This discussion is between government represented by DFS (Department of Financial Services) and public sector banks.” The branch-level discussion will be documented and will be send to state-level bankers committee by all the banks. “The state-level bankers committee will deliberate on it next Friday and Saturday that is 23 and 24. The government will integrated it (the outcome of these discussions) in September,” revealed Basu.